“WE'RE THE ALIENS!!”
December 3, 2016 9:56 PM   Subscribe

Mass Effect: Andromeda [YouTube] The journey to Andromeda begins now. Navigate the uncharted reaches of the Andromeda Galaxy to unravel its mysteries, discover vivid alien worlds, and lead the charge to find a new home among the stars. How far will you go to become humanity’s hero?

- Mass Effect: Andromeda – Official Gameplay Trailer - 4K [YouTube]
- Mass Effect: Andromeda – Official 4K Tech Video [YouTube]
- Mass Effect: Andromeda – Join the Andromeda Initiative [YouTube]
- Mass Effect: Andromeda – Arks and Nexus Briefing [YouTube]
- Mass Effect: Andromeda [Official Website]

- How Mass Effect's Relationships Will Evolve in Andromeda [IGN]
“"As far as the relationships go, we try to make them less formulaic," he said. "In the original trilogy, they often were you do a couple conversations with them and then it's getting close to the end, it's time to romance. What I wanted to see in this was more of a, well, somebody might want to hop in the sack right away, [or] somebody might never want to hop in the sack because this is too important -- trying to find that more natural way into what a relationship would be like within the constraints of game development. We're trying to make it as open ended as possible."”
- Mass Effect: Andromeda's Multiplayer Ties Into the Single-Player Story [Gamespot]
“Mass Effect: Andromeda brings back cooperative multiplayer, but some aspects of it have changed. That includes the way it relates to the single-player campaign, though there is still a connection between the two modes. Unfortunately, BioWare is still playing coy about precisely how the two are connected. It did share with Game Informer that they are related; for instance, one of the currencies you earn in multiplayer, mission funds, has "tendrils going out into the rest of the game." The goal is to avoid forcing those who want a purely single-player experience to venture into multiplayer, as some felt was the case in Mass Effect 3. That said, doing so may lead to a more hands-on experience, as producer Fabrice Condominas said, "You will have possibilities to send teams to complete kind of side missions, or to do it yourself in multiplayer."”
- Mass Effect Andromeda Will Leave Some Familiar Alien Races Behind [Eurogamer]
“Here's what we know so far: humans, asari, salarians and turians are all in - they each have an ark-full of would-be Andromeda colonists. Krogan are also along for the ride but don't have an ark themselves. But where does that leave everyone else? It sounds a lot like the quarians and geth, batarians and vorcha, hanar and elcor, drell and volus won't be making an appearance. There's still the possibility we may see a few lone examples in Mass Effect Andromeda - there's a Citadel-like hub spacestation, the Nexus, which made the leap prior to the four main race's arks. But perhaps it is best some room is left for the new Andromeda races - the antagonist kett, the ancient Guardians... and presumably more yet to be revealed. Walters' comment that other Milky Way species might pop up in an Andromeda 2 or 3 is an interesting one. It reminds me of something on the Andromeda Initiative tie-in website, which stated the organisation's eventual goal was to establish a fast and reliable link between the two galaxies.”
- Mass Effect: Andromeda Facial Animations Still Being Polished [Game Rant]
“Even though Mass Effect: Andromeda was announced a couple of years ago, fans just got their first substantial look at the project at The Game Awards. While many likely appreciated the opportunity to get a glimpse at how the science fiction franchise is evolving with Mass Effect: Andromeda, others took issue with the footage shown. Specifically, there were those that felt the facial animations in the Mass Effect: Andromeda gameplay presentation were lacking, but concerned fans can rest assured knowing that what they saw was far from the final product. Some Mass Effect: Andromeda developers took to Twitter to explain to fans that issues like the poor facial animations and lip syncing seen in its Game Awards trailer should be fixed come launch. Mass Effect series head writer Mac Walters promised that the studio would polish the game until “they take it from our cold, dead hands.” BioWare general manager Aaryn Flynn echoed those sentiments, and also pointed out that the faces in Mass Effect: Andromeda can be heavily customized by players, whereas other games use facial scans of actors.”
posted by Fizz (52 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
This is what No Man's Sky should/could have been.
posted by Fizz at 9:58 PM on December 3, 2016 [1 favorite]


My hopes are high, even though the ME3 ending still smarts. Lady turian squadmate! With this and The Last of Us Part 2 getting teased today, my thumbs are itching to play!
posted by lovecrafty at 10:17 PM on December 3, 2016


This is what No Man's Sky should/could have been.

I'm very much looking forward to this, but I think there's a distinct irony to saying that when all we have so far is the promo materials.
posted by Sequence at 10:40 PM on December 3, 2016 [23 favorites]


there's a distinct irony to saying that when all we have so far is the promo materials.

That's not a nice way to refer to No Man's Sky
posted by tiaz at 10:46 PM on December 3, 2016 [21 favorites]


I really wish they'd stop trying to crowbar in multiplayer. The gameplay isn't usually good enough in an rpg to support it, and it detracts from the atmosphere and the story to have to hop on the idiot circus that online multiplayer usually is.

Plus, online multiplayer is a significant commitment. You have to play one game a lot to get good enough at it to experience anything other than getting hilariously demolished. I don't usually want to play an RPG enough to get that good.
posted by Mitrovarr at 11:06 PM on December 3, 2016 [7 favorites]


Things I'm looking forward to:
- Planetary exploring. I really liked driving around terrains in ME1 and missed it in the next two games.
- Being the alien invader.
- That hover/biotic charge combo looks frackin' sweeeeet.
- New aliens!
- Banging all the new aliens!
- Clancy Brown's our dad!

Things I'm not so hot on:
- ME3's tri-color ending forcing the new game into an entirely new galaxy. I'll miss the Milky Way.
- Multiplayer. Not my thing, don't want to have to play it to get resources/points/etc.
posted by lovecrafty at 11:09 PM on December 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


ME3coop was super fun though -- even if the random gear grind was annoying. I hate playing with strangers as a rule but I played enough to earn my Best of the Best banner. It was totally unnecessary to help with resources in the main game, too -- I didn't touch it until I'd easily completed the campaign with the best ending, no help from multiplayer required.

I mean, it's fun, but I have to find my new space kissing partner first. Priorities.
posted by rewil at 11:15 PM on December 3, 2016 [5 favorites]


I was a huge skeptic of the multiplayer in ME3, and wound up completely loving it. So count me in as hoping the Andromeda multiplayer is an evolution of that.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:22 PM on December 3, 2016 [3 favorites]


Not to derail, but No Man's Sky had a big patch this week and it's much more fun. At least when I'm not burning / freezing / suffocating to death in survival mode.
posted by honestcoyote at 11:44 PM on December 3, 2016 [2 favorites]


That promo video is really conventional and boring. Couldn't they have at least used the cool Mass Effect synths instead of that standard action movie score?

I loved the ME games, but the universe and the lore felt thoroughly explored to me by the end. I didn't think they had many places to take another sequel. Starting over from scratch in a new galaxy is what they needed to do, but it also means that it's essentially a new franchise with some of the aesthetics carried over. The things that I really liked in the first games, if carried over, will feel tired. So I'm not super enthused about it. I have no particular reasons to expect it to be good or bad.
posted by painquale at 11:52 PM on December 3, 2016


The multiplayer in ME3 was there for the money. Loot box purchases with real money and all that. I imagine that there'll be something similar going on this time as well.

Eh, the game was fun, apart from the ending, and the multiplayer wasn't too bad as long as everyone carried their weight.
posted by YAMWAK at 12:19 AM on December 4, 2016


I really wish they'd stop trying to crowbar in multiplayer. The gameplay isn't usually good enough in an rpg to support it, and it detracts from the atmosphere and the story to have to hop on the idiot circus that online multiplayer usually is.

Plus, online multiplayer is a significant commitment. You have to play one game a lot to get good enough at it to experience anything other than getting hilariously demolished. I don't usually want to play an RPG enough to get that good.


It wasn't that bad, promise! ME3 Multiplayer was actually fantastic for people who don't play online multiplayer games - instead of Shepard and 2 computer allies against enemy AI, it's you + 3 human controlled allies against progressively harder waves of varied enemies. Gameplay-wise it worked exactly like the single player, a solid cover based shooter with varying difficulty levels. There are something like 70 different classes you can unlock, 70 different weapons and varied mods, so we replayed it endlessly trying different combinations of classes to find synergies with each other.

I roped in a couple of friends who never play online multiplayer games and we had hours and hours of fun in it, it was the sleeper best part of Mass Effect 3.
posted by xdvesper at 1:21 AM on December 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


"Before we get started, if you're not watching this on a 4K screen, find one and come back."

My husband and I had to pause that video when we watched it a couple weeks ago to laugh and discuss where we should just "go find a 4K TV" and if BestBuy would just stream a YouTube video for us real quick because WE.MUST.SEE.IT.IN.4K! (Now we constantly say how everything we watch would look better in 4K and wow, why don't we have one.)

I'm excited for this. Even though I'm sad about it being pushed back a bit, it will give me time to finish the DLC for The Witcher 3. Though, I will very sorely miss Jennifer Hale voicing Feme Shep because she's an incredible voice actor.

I also never played online multi for Mass Effect, though my husband did. Just didn't look fun to me for some reason even though I used to do tons of Halo in my life. So, maybe I have a rusty memory of it but I never felt forced to play the multiplayer in 3. So I do hope it's not some sort of requirement, which they're saying they're going for not forcing it. Because uhhhgg for that.
posted by Crystalinne at 1:46 AM on December 4, 2016


everyone i know: HAVE U PLAYED MASS EFFECT YET DO IT DO THE THING
me: i bought it a while back but then inquisition came out and i never got around to it! but i will! eventually! soon, even!
everyone i know: DID U KNO U CAN FUCK ALIENS
me: yes you tell me this literally every day
everyone i know: U CAN FUCK ALIENS LIZ FUCK THE ALIENS FUCK THEM NOW
me: im kinkshaming
posted by poffin boffin at 1:56 AM on December 4, 2016 [21 favorites]


All I'm thinking here is that Spandex rendered in 4K resolution is going to introduce entirely new uncanny valleys.

I'm a bad person.
posted by rokusan at 3:40 AM on December 4, 2016 [6 favorites]


Awesome FPP, lots of juicy links, well done!

Regarding in-game relationships/sex/partnering/marriage - I wonder how many of you engage in that aspect of these games. A lot of newer games have that now. Do you get anything out of it, the same way you get something out of winning a battle, or leveling up, or crafting something exquisite out of rare, hard-won materials?

I like pretending to be a sorcerer or a swordsman or a space marine or a ninja, but I never pursue the romance angle after trying it in a new game. It just seems weird, immersion-wise. Maybe it's simply an Uncanny Valley thing - scripting sword fights can be very convincing these days, but scripting an emotional relationship? I think we still have a long way to go.

Not knocking it at all, just curious who enjoys it.
posted by sidereal at 4:53 AM on December 4, 2016


The romance options in RPGs have always been fun, even though they haven't been part of core gameplay. I don't think people see romance partners as collectables (well, except in some dating sims, and I wouldn't dignify the original Witcher game with the word 'romance'), more as opportunities to examine a character, and their relationship with the protagonist, hopefully with an eye to improving both. It's a canon way to fanship.
posted by YAMWAK at 5:20 AM on December 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


my heart belongs to Annekke Crag-Jumper but she's married so oh well
posted by sidereal at 5:32 AM on December 4, 2016


I love the romance options in an RPG for the same reason that I enjoy romance novels: I just like that kind of story. It's not about being convincingly plausible or about adding value to the rest of the game. I like it for its own sake!
posted by Andrhia at 6:59 AM on December 4, 2016 [2 favorites]


This is one of the very few things that I'm looking forward to in the coming year--besides the inherent shininess, it seems like they've mixed things up enough to keep it interesting, while retaining enough of the old game to scratch that itch as well. (I'm just now finishing up my lost-track-a-while-ago-eenth playthrough of the trilogy.) As far as multiplayer goes, well, it's always a question of whether or not I can find a regular group that will be tolerant of my inherent clumsiness, as I did with City of Heroes. As far as romance, it will be hard to top the adorkable relationship with Samantha Traynor in 3, but hope endures.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:34 AM on December 4, 2016


I love the protagonist's totally original character design.

I WAS PROMISED PLAYABLE ELCOR.*

*In my dreams
posted by Panjandrum at 7:36 AM on December 4, 2016


It just seems weird, immersion-wise. Maybe it's simply an Uncanny Valley thing - scripting sword fights can be very convincing these days, but scripting an emotional relationship? I think we still have a long way to go.

Not knocking it at all, just curious who enjoys it.



I actually prefer the romance aspects of the Bioware games to the actual sex with aliens parts. The sex itself is pretty basic, and often weirdly rendered (and femShep has just the worst underwear in the console versions...and why do Asari even have tits, anyway?), while the Romance actually allows you to explore a bunch of different options. To be fair, some of the romantic elements are a bit formulaic, and a bit sketched-in, but it is easy enough to fill in those parts yourself. I like to think that my femShep wound up marrying Garrus- they had a lovely ceremony on Thessia (mixed Presbyterian/Armenian Apostolic, Admiral Anderson gave away the bride), honeymooned on Tuchanka, and are thinking of adopting.

DA:I was also interesting for this- during my first playthrough, my Inquisitor hit heavily on Cassandra, with a rather mortifying result (she's straight). In another, she wound up marrying Sera ("Oi cut me own hair") in a lovely ceremony officiated by the Lady Pope. In a third, she entered into a consensual D/s relationship with the Iron Bull. This was a much greater range of possibility than I had expected.
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:48 AM on December 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


I WAS PROMISED PLAYABLE ELCOR.*


Don't you mean: "*indignant* i was promised playable Elcor."?
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 7:52 AM on December 4, 2016 [16 favorites]


Mass Effect continues to be my favourite 3rd Person Cover-Based Dating Game series.

Let's hope Andromeda follows suit. I think I'm ready to love again (Shakarian OTP 4 life).
posted by slimepuppy at 7:52 AM on December 4, 2016 [10 favorites]


I love the protagonist's totally original character design

"Grizzlebrood McManpain Has A Tough Day" - mhoye
posted by sidereal at 8:21 AM on December 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


BLAST HARDCHEESE
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 8:23 AM on December 4, 2016 [4 favorites]


I want to believe, but have problems after the ugliness that was DA2 and ME3. What that really means is that I'll probably treat Andromeda the way I treat most other AAA titles, wait until I can get the GOTY edition on a sale for $20.

Multiplayer is a big nope for me these days. On release day, ME3 multiplayer was pretty much required to unlock all endings on anything short of a ideal playthrough with good saves from the previous two games. After a few months, the game was patched to make it optional.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 9:06 AM on December 4, 2016


I'd like to NOT save the universe this time, please. I just want to futz around, explore everything there is to see, found a profitable little mining colony, and settle in with my $MATE_TO_BE_DETERMINED. OK, OK, I'll fight stuff and battle conspiracies but really the best part is just zooming up to enemies and shotgunning their faces off repeatedly, so less of that, more hidden side-content, please.

I miss you, Tali. Losing you was the only flaw in my last ME3 play-through.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 9:31 AM on December 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


Looking forward to the multiplayer again. Wish the focus of games was on 4k pieces of great writing and compelling gameplay mechanics than shiny graphics but I had !FUN! in Dwarf Fortress so I'm definitely an edge case.
posted by Slackermagee at 10:22 AM on December 4, 2016


So! I have a LOT OF FEELINGS about the Mass Effect series.

I bought an Xbox 360 specifically because I'd seen the early trailers for Mass Effect and I knew I had to play it. Playing the games as they've come out has been a major highlight of my pop-cultural life over the past, jesus, almost ten years.

But even as I loved the games, I did have problems with them. I often felt like in my overinvestment in the setting and characters, I found myself disappointed when it seemed like the game wasn't taking its own ideas as seriously as I was. I played my Shepard as a staunch opponent to human exceptionalism, but many times even the most broad-minded responses still boiled down to platitudes about The Power of Humanity, etc.

And so I find the oft-repeated assertion that "now, YOU'RE the aliens!" to be a little bit baffling. I mean—haven't we (e.g., humans) always been just one more sapient species in a big-ass galaxy? The generation-ship life-raft conceit notwithstanding, the human characters of MEA have grown up in an interstellar civilization where contact with alien intelligence is a daily occurrence. I always played the game as someone keenly aware that I was just another weirdo alien species, and not even a particularly hotshot one.

So what's odd to me is the idea that the creators of this game are talking this up as though it just occurred to them to frame the setting this way, and I can't help but raise an eyebrow a little bit.

On the other hand—there's also a lot to complain about, both nitpickily and substantively, about the Mass Effects 1-3, and I still fundamentally love them, so I'm optimistic that there's going to be a lot to love in this game, as well, even if I end up rolling my eyes at them. What I'm hoping for is a couple of moments that reach the high points of the original games—the conversation with Vigil near the end of ME 1 comes to mind—and some characters that I'll feel as strongly and affectionately about as I did Tali, Garrus, Legion, Liara...

I feel like there's reason to be cautiously optimistic, on that count.

What I'm more worried about is the treatment of the colonization theme. Put shortly, I'm worried (and at this point, mostly convinced) that they will snatch oversimplification from the jaws of nuance.

Specifically, I'm worried that the situation the player encounters in Andromeda will be specifically engineered to make permissible the enterprise of colonization: some kind of over-simple alien conflict that the characters are drawn into in such a way as to make the "find a home" aspect of the a fait accompli-like side effect of playing through the game's plot, which will necessarily be constructed around the Pathfinder character as (some variation of) hero.

In doing do, they'll miss out on the opportunity to make some really interesting observations on the nature of otherness and the process of immigration. In fact, if they had just cast the entire nature of the Andromeda project as a desperate shipment of refugees out of an embattled galaxy (which is what it is), instead of as a heroic colonizing enterprise, I'd be way more interested. The facts of the setting—a centuries-long one-way journey, with no possibility of contact with the their old home—would change hardly at all, but the import of it would be dramatically different.

And with the refugee/immigrant angle would come some really interesting opportunities for Trenchant Commentary! A game like this could still feel very Mass Effect-y, (and even offer up twists on the human triumphalism that seems to be inescapable in the series.)

What I am realistically expecting is to have some strong feelings about some of the characters, enjoy the updated graphics and gameplay (and the multiplayer), but find myself vaguely frustrated with a main plot that excuses itself from really engaging with the problems it's raising. But I would love to be surprised.

The Tasteful, Understated Nerdrage guy talked about some of this stuff in a recent-ish video, which is worth watching because all of his stuff is worth watching.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:28 AM on December 4, 2016 [3 favorites]


I lost my ME3 end save when I replaced my computer and so never played the by all accounts beautifully excellent final DLC, Citadel. Anybody know where one might find a saved game that could be used for playing that before Andromeda to recapture the Mass Effect Feels? There are some sites with ME1 and ME2 end saves for importing but I'd rather not replay the entire game...

Watching the DLC on Youtube isn't the same.
posted by Justinian at 3:11 PM on December 4, 2016


Ugh – the thing I'm most disappointed by is the reappearance of having to drive around. I hated that goddamn Mako.
posted by thirdletter at 3:52 PM on December 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Justinian, give me about 3 months to play through ME2 and ME3 on PC (I've only played on 360 and am excited about playing on a different platform!) and I'll send you a save. I only recently started ME2 again and am playing a evil FemShep that looks like a albino cyborg with purple hair.
posted by kittensofthenight at 4:19 PM on December 4, 2016


I really hated the driving minigames in the first Mass Effect. I know that part of the game seems loved and missed, but I was not happy to hear about it's return.

One thing that was reveled about the multiplayer element - it seems to tie into the main game experience as a way to do "away missions" - away missions that could otherwise be assigned to your unused companions to happen behind the scenes. What I've always wanted from BioWare from the first KotOR on through the latest Dragon Age is something for the unused companions to do. I would love love love for the ability to send a few companions on an away mission, have them unavailable for 8 hours, then have the come back with some xp and some loot and some flavour text. A mix of the mission assignment system from Assassins Creed Brotherhood and the war table from Inquisition, but using the 6 companion characters you aren't stomping around with
posted by thecjm at 10:32 PM on December 4, 2016 [1 favorite]


Also regarding the driving—I've been thinking about this a lot, since I'm one of the four people who actually liked No Man's Sky at launch.

The Mako (especially during the planetary exploration minigame) was pretty much terrible across the board. But the idea of driving a cool-ass space dune buggy around an alien landscape, looking for interesting space shit is not an inherently terrible one. I feel like if the landscapes are more interesting/beautiful and the cool space shit is less copy-paste-y it could actually be a nicely chill sort of downtime experience to get in when you don't have three hours to advance the campaign.
posted by Sokka shot first at 10:08 AM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


The ME3 multiplayer was actually pretty great...my brother and I played the shit out of it, and he carried me through a couple of Platinum matches eventually. It's probably the only horde mode that I've ever enjoyed playing.
The option was there to buy packs, but I never felt like I was missing anything by only using the packs I earned in the game.
posted by Kreiger at 11:08 AM on December 5, 2016


Elite: Dangerous has a nice space-buggy mode. Although finding interesting landscapes involves sifting through lots of procedurally generated blandness, and there's not a lot there aside from the scenery.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 11:14 AM on December 5, 2016


"It sounds a lot like the quarians and geth, batarians and vorcha, hanar and elcor, drell and volus won't be making an appearance."

It's too bad about the Quarians and the Geth, as they were pretty ok as warrior hackers, and who didn't love Tali? Glad the Krogan are coming along cos they're like tanks with bad attitudes.
Batarians, they're mostly merc assholes who feel the need to shoot me or drop rocks on people. The Vorcha were freaky because I as never sure if they were suddenly going to start chewing on my face, they were that stupid. The Hanar are all flooby and "This one is not good in a full-out firefight as this one has no thumbs."
*Regetfully.* the Elcor put me to sleep. Drell are ok too as long as they don't keep vocalizing their goddamm flashbacks.
The Volus though. I can't believe that BioWare is missing out on adding a whole planet full of Biotic Gods with [hssst] speech impediments.
posted by Zack_Replica at 11:58 AM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


Fear me!
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 12:06 PM on December 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


I'm one of the small percentage of people who enjoyed driving the Mako. There are dozens of us! I just liked exploring planets, even though they were often pretty empty. I liked the weird skylines. Presrop, with its scarred moon Klendagon (really just Mars with some tweaking, but still cool). That one system with two planets on a collision course, scheduled to collide in a few hundred years (tickets for viewing nearly sold out already!).

And who didn't get chills from driving around on our own moon? Especially when you find that spot where you can hear the Rachni song.

Fun fact: all the Vorcha and the Biotic God Volus were voiced by MShep, Mark Meer. Prothean no like youuuuu!!!
posted by lovecrafty at 5:45 PM on December 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


A series of three tie-in novels have just been announced.

Cat Valente? N. K. Jemisin? Wow.
posted by Sokka shot first at 11:14 AM on December 6, 2016 [2 favorites]


Cat Valente? N. K. Jemisin? Wow.

I'm torn between joy, and worry about having two awesome women at the intersection of Puppy and Gamer Gate harassment.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 1:13 PM on December 6, 2016


N. K. Jemisin is a HUGE get for this. Damn.
posted by lovecrafty at 3:37 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


I also loved the Mako and missed it bitterly when it was gone.
posted by Andrhia at 4:11 PM on December 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Likely a nice thing for Jemisin. My Buns and Noodle stocks all of the Dragon Age and Mass Effect books. They have two shelves devoted to Warhammer 4000 novels. But they stock one lonely copy of Jemisin's latest, (and nothing from any of the other authors I'm following.)
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 5:42 AM on December 7, 2016


I'm torn between joy, and worry about having two awesome women at the intersection of Puppy and Gamer Gate harassment.

Well, Jemisin at least was one of the original targets of Vox Day and his puppy brigade, so I'm sure she knows what she's getting into.

This is awesome and I can't wait to read them.
posted by Roommate at 6:06 AM on December 7, 2016


The Mass Effect 3 ending debacle was a hilarious and terrible time because it really as about corporate malfeasance and pandering, and hobbyist populist anger at shoddy work being sold for $60 plus DLC season pass. It did, of course, have spots of misogyny and misanthropy, especially against Bioware writer Jennifer Hepler, and that was awful. And that's the dark legacy of the ME 3 endings, or the fan outcry thereof- it presaged online trends that leads to our present situation. YouTube investigative insta-documentaries as evidence. Savvy media bloggers siding with the mob, as populists. (What irony that Forbes, in Kain, was seen as the lone friend against the game corporate-propping Metacritics of the internet!) Mass online outrage. Viral memetic creations that were actually quite well made. As funny as it was to mock EA, that most hated of corporate boogeyman, who once faked a Westboro Baptist Church-esque moral outrage and sent copies of pre-release ME3 into space, only to be stuck in a tree, the ME3 controversy foreshadows the rise of populist, explicitly political and ideological movements such as GamerGate and Sad Puppies, and the real-world, non-hobbyist, mainstream right-wing political populists of today. If not with the exact same goals, with similar styles and tones, a sort of trolling style of outrage-based internet campaigns. Mass Effect fans got Bioware/EA to cave, and received the Citadel DLC, which was seen as a well-made, suitable finale to a beloved series. And voters across the world this year got, well, you know.
posted by Apocryphon at 1:58 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Between Gamer dudes treating explicitly tagged flirt dialogues as a betrayal of Gamer(tm) culture and shipping is serious business harassment mobs, Bioware fandom always seems like a perpetual motion machine of wank. DA:I saw harassment mobs and downvote brigades over romance-unlock mods, and unfortunately my dash was just filed with a flamewar over the possibility of "playersexual" character development in ME:A.

All of which get escalated into absurdly political terms. It's a community in desperate need of a new Godwin's law for perspective.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 3:32 PM on December 8, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah - it's interesting to compare the ME3 outrage against the No Man's Sky outrage. Same principle of YouTubers and bloggers boosting their views by railing against Sean Murray's interview statements, but it feels like Murray* didn't get even a fraction of the kind of genuinely unhinged pursuit that Jennifer Hepler got, or that Zoe Quinn and various others got in the period between.

At a point where we are talking about the impact of "fake news" on the election, it's salutary to remember that people were at least pretending to believe the fake photoshops of Hepler promising that she had the ME3 team neglecting combat in order to focus entirely on a plotline where Male Shepherd comes out as gay. And, at this point, whether that belief was in any way sincerely held just seems like a quaint question from another era.


*Strictly speaking, that's apples-to-apples, of course, because Murray was the studio head, and Hepler was... not actually working on Mass Effect 3.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:46 PM on December 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ahem. That's *not* apples-to-apples, rather.
posted by running order squabble fest at 2:51 PM on December 11, 2016


Gaming fans seem to have a tough time understanding the division of labor and specialization involved in game development. The lead writer doesn't necessarily have a lot of pull with the systems or level designers. The same is true when fans complain about about development of cosmetic skins vs. mechanics.

In fact, one of Bioware's flaws for me seems to be dissonance between systems and narrative.
posted by CBrachyrhynchos at 5:54 AM on December 12, 2016


The weird thing is, she was not the lead writer, but a scenario writer. Of a completely different franchise. At which point it doesn't matter so much if it's stupidity or malice...
posted by running order squabble fest at 1:43 PM on December 13, 2016 [2 favorites]


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